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State's covid hospitalizations fall to 7-week low; death toll rises by 33

by Andy Davis | September 16, 2021 at 3:57 p.m.
Nurse Brionna Rivers looks in the room of a Covid-19 patient while the patient is treated in one of the Covid wards at University of Arkansas for Medical Science on Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Little Rock. .More photos at Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

Arkansas' downward trend in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continued on Thursday, with the number of people hospitalized with the virus falling for the ninth consecutive day.

The numbers of virus patients who were on ventilators and in intensive care, however, both rose for the second straight day.

Although 16 fewer Arkansans were hospitalized, the state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Arkansas Department of Health, rose by 33, to 7,395.

"While new cases are lower and hospitalizations are on the decline, we still are seeing too many deaths and an increasing number on ventilators," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a tweet. "This shows the deadly nature of this virus. Don’t take a risk; please get vaccinated."

The state's count of cases rose by 1,824, an increase that was smaller by 657 than the one a week earlier.

The number of covid-19 patients in the state's hospitals fell to 1,074, its lowest level since July 29.

The number of those patients who were on ventilators rose by 17, to 306.

The number who were in intensive care units rose by six, to 456. However, the number of ICU beds statewide that were unoccupied rose by three, to 35, as a result of a reduction in non-covid-19 patients who were in intensive care.

Covid-19 patients made up about 41% of the people in intensive care on Thursday, up from 40% a day earlier.

Thursday marked the sixth consecutive daily increase in new coronavirus cases that was smaller than 2,000.

It marked the longest stretch without an increase topping 2,000 since July 24, when the state reported more than new 2,000 cases in a single day for the first time since early February.

The average daily increase in the state's case count over a rolling seven-day period fell to 1,565.

Already at its lowest level since July 28, the number of cases that were considered active fell by 294, to 16,401, as recoveries and deaths outpaced new cases.

Meanwhile, the increase in vaccine doses that providers reported having administered, including second and third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, was 7,021, smaller by more than 6,200 than the one a week earlier.

The average number of doses administered each day over a rolling seven-day period fell to 6,614, its lowest level since the week ending July 20.

More details in Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.


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